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Jul 20, 2020 / 22:09

PM approves action plan for Vietnam–US customs cooperation agreement

The Ministry of Finance would cooperate with the US in identifying fields and goods with high risks of origin fraud or illegal transshipment for information sharing and communication.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved an action plan for the implementation of the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) between Vietnam and the US, aiming to further strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and the facilitation of lawful trade.

 The customs cooperation agreement between Vietnam and the US would strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and the facilitation of lawful trade.

Under the plan issued on July 17, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is responsible for cooperating with the US in identifying priority fields and goods subject to information sharing, which includes goods with high risk of origin fraud or illegal transshipment.

Additionally, the MoF would draft a plan for cooperation with the US in each phase, as well as for customs staff training to meet the requirements of each side.

CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries that are enforced by their respective customs administrations. They provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering and terrorism-related activities. CMAAs also serve as foundational documents for subsequent information sharing arrangements.

US Deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam Caryn McClelland and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai signed the CMAA in Hanoi last December.

At the ceremony, Mai said the agreement would help customs authorities in the two countries timely identify trade fraud activities, which is a significant issue amid growing trade relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the establishment of a communication channel under the agreement is instrumental in the fight against trade frauds and illegal transshipment, preventing losses to state revenue and ensuring fair and safe business environments, Mai added.

Trade between the two countries in the 2010 – 2019 period grew by an average of 16.3% annually, in which Vietnam’s export growth to the US was over 16% per year and imports rose 16.5%.

The US continues to be Vietnam’s largest export market and the third largest trading partner, Mai said.